Thursday, January 12, 2012

Researchers Find A Familal Genetic Mutation in Prostate Cancer

Genetic testing for predisposition to certain cancers has really advanced in the past few years. The most popular genetic testing is for breast cancer called BRAC testing.  Now the cancer that targets men which is prostate cancer can result of a gene mutation. Some men with prostate cancer have a strong hereditary predisposition due to the gene mutation.
Men with prostate cancer were 20.1 times more likely than controls (P=8.5×10−7) to carry a mutation in HOXB13, which plays a key role in prostate development, Kathleen A. Cooney, MD, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues found.
The HOXB13 G84E mutation was significantly more common in early-onset, familial prostate cancer than in cases that developed later in life in men without a strong family history of the disease (3.1% versus 0.6%, P=0.000002).
The mutation won't explain many prostate cancer cases but is a good start, the group noted in the Jan. 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
"Although the variant accounts for a small fraction of all prostate cancers, this finding has implications for prostate-cancer risk assessment and may provide new mechanistic insights into this common cancer," they wrote.
Men whose family has a history of prostate cancer can now be tested for the gene mutation. When the kit becomes available one need to see the cost and if insurance will pay for the testing.

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Monday, January 9, 2012

Pathwork Tissue Origin Test Helps Prolongs Life Of Lung Cancer Patients

The Pathwork Tissue of Origin Test is the only FDA-cleared, Medicare-covered molecular diagnostic for identifying tissue of origin. It uses a tumor’s own genomic information to help pathologists and oncologists diagnose challenging cancer cases such as those that are metastatic or that have a complex clinical history.
“The Tissue of Origin Test significantly altered clinical practice patterns for treating metastatic cancer,” explained John Hornberger, M.D., M.S., CEO/President of Cedar Associates LLC and Principal Investigator of the study. “We saw an increase in overall survival and quality-adjusted life years, resulting in an expected cost per QALY of less than $50,000 per patient, which is within the generally accepted threshold of <$100,000 for cost-effectiveness in the United States.”1,2

The Pathwork Tissue of Origin Test, available through the Pathwork Diagnostics Laboratory, measures gene expression levels of 2,000 genes and uses proprietary algorithms to compare the tumor’s gene expression pattern to that of 15 tumor types, representing 58 morphologies and 90% of all solid tumors. The test provides objective genomic information to help the physician diagnose what type of cancer the patient has. An accurate diagnosis allows oncologists to match therapy to the cancer.
The Pathwork Tissue of Origin Test has been extensively evaluated in multiple independent studies involving more than 1,100 patient specimens, including large validation studies published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology and the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics.
A retrospective study of 111 cases from 66 academic and community oncology practices illustrates the use of the test in management of cancer patients. Over two thirds of the cases reviewed showed cancer management changed after the Pathwork Tissue of Origin Test result was received. The majority of the oncologists identified the Tissue of Origin Test results as influencing the decision to make a change in therapy.

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